After pulling off an undefeated season at home, the Ravens needed to win the last road game of the season against the Cincinnati Bengals to secure a home playoff game. The game started off on a high note when RB Rice Ray scored a 70 yard touchdown in the 1st quarter. He scored another 51 yard touchdown late in the 4th quarter to win the game.

With Sunday’s 24-16 win over the Cincinnati Bengals, the Baltimore Ravens were crowned AFC North champions. The Ravens were undefeated in their division and with a 12-4 record; they secured the AFC’s No. 2 seed, a first-week bye and a home playoff game.

Rice’s impressive performance earned him the AFC Offensive Player of the Week. He is the star of the Ravens offense and gives them hope of going far in the playoffs.

It was an interesting season that ended on a high note. The Ravens were constantly criticized for their up and down games and not playing up to speed against teams with losing records. Their four losses were all road games against the Tennessee Titans, Jacksonville Jaguars, Seattle Seahawks and San Diego Chargers.

The Ravens worked extremely hard to win the battle of the AFC North since 3 out of the 4 teams in the division also reached the playoffs. The Pittsburgh Steelers clinched the No. 5 seed and the Bengals clinched the No. 6 seed due to a loss by the Jets.

This is the Ravens 4th consecutive trip to the playoffs under head coach John Harbaugh and QB Joe Flacco. It is a run they are familiar with, but season they were blessed with gifts that may give them the momentum they need to go all the way.

So while the Ravens can enjoy their first-week bye, they still have a long, hard road ahead of them. They will continue to train and once they know who they will face next week, they can construct a game plan of how to win. One thing they know for sure, they will play at home and have the love and support of their fans to cheer them on at M&T Bank Stadium.

By MelissaRubin

Self-proclaimed sports junkie. Lifelong Baltimore sports fan residing in DC. Baltimore Ravens are my favorite team, I'm a die-hard fan and in constant need of a football fix. Baltimore Orioles and Washington Capitals fan too. Follow her on Twitter @egoddess1